Science/Fiction: Deadline 1st August 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Excursions Journal, University of Sussex Doctoral School

'Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.'
Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963. London: Routledge, 2002), 66.

'Arts research needs to change direction, to look outwards, and investigate the audience not the texts. It needs to link up with sociology and psychology and public health, and create a body of knowledge about what the arts actually do to people. Until that happens, we cannot even pretend that we are taking the arts seriously.'
John Carey, What Good Are the Arts? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 167.

'Every brilliant experiment, like every great work of art, starts with an act of imagination.'
Jonah Lehrer, Proust Was a NeuroScientist (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), xii.

As the 'Two Cultures' debate of the mid-twentieth century, and the 'Science Wars' of the 1990s, suggest, relations between the sciences and the arts and humanities have often been characterized by mutual suspicion, frustration, and misapprehension. In academia, interdepartmental competition for diminishing resources has only exacerbated this trend.

But this polarized picture belies the rich possibilities presented by the intersection and / or re-articulation of these two fields. In this spirit Excursions calls for critical scholarly work on any aspect of the relationship between science and the humanities. We welcome submissions from any discipline, within the contexts of academia, scientific/cultural institutions or society itself. We strongly encourage work that questions or challenges preconceived disciplinary boundaries.

Submissions may consider, but are by no means limited to:

o The question of 'truth' in science, art, literature, and the humanities
o Science fiction / Fiction as science / Science as fiction (or scientific narrative)
o The Two Cultures / The Science Wars / The Sokal affair
o The notion of the experimental in art and literature
o 'Impact' and the instrumentalization of academic research. Can and should science and humanities research be assessed against the same criteria?
o The public legitimization of science / climate change denialism / the UEA email affair
o Psuedoscience and the humanities. Karl Popper regarded Marxism and Psychoanalysis as 'pseudosciences' because their findings were unfalsifiable. Should the humanities be concerned about this kind of criticism?
o Popular science writing
o Engagement with the work of figures such as Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper, Bruno Latour.

Scholarly papers should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words and must follow MHRA style guidelines. We also encourage creative submissions in media such as film, photography, or audio. For creative submissions, please include an abstract and a brief biography (no more than 150 words) along with your submission. All enquiries should be sent to Submissions should be made via our website,, no later than 1st August 2012.

This Call for Papers is also issued under the GNU Free Documentation License.